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Canadian astronaut Marc Garneau tours UTSC research facilities

Canadian astronaut Marc Garneau (far left) visits the lab of Professor Rene Harrison, pictured at centre in red. (Photo by Ken Jones.)

Marc Garneau, Liberal MP (Westmount-Ville Marie) and critic for Industry, Science and Technology, and Dan McTeague, Liberal MP (Pickering- Scarborough East), visited UTSC on September 11 to learn more about ongoing research initiatives on campus.

Andrew Arifuzzaman, chief strategy officer and Professor Malcolm Campbell, vice-principal, research led the guests on a tour through UTSC’s research facilities. The group visited the lab of Rene Harrison of biological sciences, where Harrison talked with Garneau about her work on bone density loss in space, an ongoing concern for astronauts and of particular relevance to victims of osteoporosis. Next, the group toured the Environmental Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) facility operated by Myrna Simpson and Andre Simpson, professors of physical and environmental sciences where they learned about the lab’s pioneering work on soil and its chemical nature. The final stop was the brain imaging laboratory led by Laura-Ann Petitto of psychology, where the research team is making great strides into research on the biological bases of language in infants.

“Marc Garneau is one of only a handful of Canadians to have had the phenomenal experience of viewing our planet Earth from beyond the confines of our fragile atmosphere, and to have contemplated our vast universe from this same vantage point,” said Campbell. “Yet, when he visited our campus, he was truly inspired to learn about the incredible steps that our faculty are making in research that have implications for both the health of humankind and the health of our planet.”

© University of Toronto Scarborough